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Pachanga review: Girl in a Coma
By Joe Gross | Monday, June 2, 2008, 12:12 PM

To see Girl in a Coma on Saturday afternoon at Pachanga was to forget the band’s seemingly outta-nowhere origin (San Antonio school girls to Joan Jett’s Blackheart Records to opening for Morrissey, though it did takes years of wood-shedding) and focus on their increasingly strong songcraft.

It didn’t hurt that their indie rock was such a sharp contrast to the rest of the afternoon that it sounded fresh by default. But to their credit, singer/guitarist Nina and drummer Phanie Diaz (sisters) along with bassist Jenn Alva showed everyone that the band hadn’t completely blow its wad on its 2007 debut “Both Before I Die”; some of those songs were six years old when finally released.

So it was both thrilling and a relief to hear Alva introduce a mess of new songs that seemed tighter and tougher than the ones everyone who has seen them more than once already knows. Nina Diaz’s voice moved from melodrama to emotionally exasperated, while the band’s rhythms seemed almost circular at times. Can’t wait to hear the new album, due in 2009.